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Johnson family welcome independent inquiry into Tory bullying claims

The father of a young Tory party activist who committed suicide after claims he had been subjected to bullying has said he welcomes news of an independent inquiry into the allegations.

Speaking to ITV News, Ray Johnson said that he hoped it was the start of a "fair" investigation and that the Conservative party would give his family an opportunity to take part in the inquiry.

'Fully independent inquiry' over Conservatives bullying claims

The Conservative Party has agreed to a fully independent inquiry into allegations surrounding the death of young activist Elliott Johnson.

Mr Johnson, 21, committed suicide after claiming he had been subjected to bullying within the party's youth wing.

The inquiry will be carried out in its entirety by Clifford Chase law firm, the party said, and chairman Lord Feldman - accused by Mr Johnson's father of failures in his response to the allegation - will not attend the board when it considers its final report on the claims.

Party wants 'to establish truth' after activist's death

The Conservative Party has released a statement saying it is "absolutely determined to establish the truth" of events around the death of 21-year-old party activist Elliott Johnson and relating to former Tory campaigner Mark Clarke.

Tory party campaigner Elliott Johnson was found dead in September Credit: Facebook

Mr Johnson took his own life in September. Mr Clarke was accused of being a bully in a letter written by Mr Johnson before his death. He denies any wrongdoing.

In a statement, the party said: "We again urge any person who may have information relating to this matter to get in touch with the Party as soon as possible.

"Party officials with legal support continue to take written statements from over 40 witnesses and searching for and collating all material written evidence."

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Nick Hurd named as Grant Shapps replacement

Nick Hurd MP will replace Grant Shapps as International Development minister. Credit: Twitter

Downing Street have confirmed Nick Hurd, MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, will replace Grant Shapps as International Development minister.

Shapps resigned earlier today following claims he mishandled bullying allegations that reportedly led to the suicide of a young Conservative activist.

Elliott Johnson's father: This is not the end of the story

Elliott Johnson's parents Ray and Alison. Credit: David Levene for the Guardian

The father of a young Tory activist who took his own life after allegedly being bullied has said minister Grant Shapps' resignation is "not the end of the story".

Ray Johnson, whose 21-year-old son Elliott killed himself earlier this year, called on Chairman Lord Feldman to also step down.

Mr Johnson told ITV News: "Grant Shapps has fallen on his sword, and as the sole party chairman, the responsibility now lies with Andrew Feldman.

"Feldman's position is no longer tenable. It's time for the prime minister to take control.

"The Conservative party brand is tarnished and needs a wholesale clear out. This is not the end of the story.'

Grant Shapps: 'The buck should stop with me'

Grant Shapps said the only right course of action was for him to step down. Credit: PA

Grant Shapps said the "buck should stop with me" after allegations of bullying within the Tory youth group while he was Party chairman.

The International Development Minister stepped down after 21-year-old activist Elliott Johnson took his own life.

In his resignation letter, Shapps told the Prime Minister "neither I nor the Party could find any written allegations of bullying, sexual abuse or blackmail made to the Chairman's office.

"Over the past few weeks - as individual allegations have come to light - I have come to the conclusion that the buck should stop with me.

"Given the very serious nature of what has subsequently occurred I cannot help but conclude that the only right course of action is for me to step down as Minister in your government."

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